Context for putting Assange on suicide watch

On Friday, 17 June 2022, following UK Home Secretary Patel’s approval of extradition to face criminal charges in USA, Julian Assange was strip-searched and moved to a bare cell in HMP Belmarsh. He remained there for a weekend as guards searched his own cell, looking for anything he might use to harm himself. According to his wife, “The mental strain on Julian is enormous as it is, having to process what is essentially a death sentence.” She said extradition to the U.S. would “drive him to take his own life.” On Tuesday, 21 June 2022, he was returned to his cell.

It is important to understand the context of this treatment.

  • May 2019: HMP Belmarsh officers found a razor blade hidden in a pile of underpants in Julian’s cell.
  • September 2020: Michael Kopelman, emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at Kings College London, testified to the Crown Court that Julian was at “very high risk of suicide.”
  • November 2020: a Brazilian being held on the same wing as Assange committed suicide. Manoel Santos was, according to Julian’s wife, a friend of his and had been served by the Home Office with notice of deportation to his homeland. Professor Kopelman said the suicide of Santos proved his fears about Julian were well-founded.

If, in the wake of a crushing (even if expected) legal setback for Assange, Her Majesty’s Prison Service had failed to impose extra precautions and, god forbid, Julian were to take his own life, conspiracy theorists would scream bloody murder that he’d been “Epsteined” by the CIA.

Perhaps it is a disservice to promote a view that enforced solitude is the way a suicidal prisoner should be held. (As if it is better than leaving him in more social familiar environment or there are no other alternate options, such as an advanced family or more frequent family visits allowed, for example).

In context, he almost died in solitary conditions, once before in Belmarsh. He lost kilos in weight and they medicated him to his eyeballs. A prisoner group persuaded the Governor at the time to remove him and send him back to a normal ward. Perhaps medication has been so over relied upon, it has caused him to have a mini stroke. Why couldn’t he have been sent to an actual hospital?

Why should he be held in Belmarsh prison - and not a Category C at the very minimum?

And so called conspiracy theorists would be basically correct. Love the labelling, not.

By the way - it is highly unlikely that Julian Assange will give an indication of any plan to suicide - not to his wife or prison guards in advance. He’s an intelligent being. If unfairly convicted he will find a way - no matter the useless diplomatic assurances.

If we can rest assured that Assange will attempt suicide only after being “unfairly convicted” (and presumably all appeals are exhausted) then at the rate things are going, he will live a very long life. He’s still years away from even standing trial in USA.

Aren’t you a clever guy. Im getting a strong vibe that you don’t actually give a shit about his welfare. And your tendency to being pedantic re my posts here and others, such as Rick Velvet’s, is unwarranted, juvenile and passive aggressive.